Holiday are great but for some people when you enter a different time zone it can cause a lot of problems with your sleep cycle. Otherwise known as Jet Lag. There are many different symptoms someone may suffer: extreme tiredness, lack of concentration, unable to get asleep, wake up in the middle of the night wide awake, hallucinate or don’t feel part of your own body! These can go on for days and for some ruin the whole experience of travelling abroad.
So how do people get by with their Jet Lag? Upon asking patients there are 2 suggestions that always seem to come up. The first one is that when you land at your destination you must stay awake in that time zone and not be tempted to go to bed before its late evening. The other one is that you have a very tiny nap when you arrive but no more than a few hours.
As an acupuncturist I always knew that acupuncture could help jet lag but I had never tried it myself. When I went to the USA last month I took this as a great opportunity to try the technique out on both myself and my husband and I am very pleased to say that the results were amazing. We both left the plane wide awake and stayed up until the evening. I would normally be sleep walking and hallucinate a bit and my husband would be waking up in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep. We both did not experience these symptoms and carried on to have a great holiday. So how does this work and what do you need to do?
The below diagram illustrates the Chinese Clock, which for anyone that doesn’t know acupuncture won’t make much sense. Let me explain. This chart represents the optimal performance for each specific organ. Each organ represents a channel within the body. Wherever you are in the world these organs and times shown below stay exactly the same according to the time zone you are in. (The colours represent each organ and are used as a diagnostic tool when a patient is attending an acupuncture session).
For jet lag you need to work out two things.
1. Your time zone according to the Chinese Clock.
2. What you do with that knowledge!
Lets work out the time zone now according to my flight to the USA.
My flight left UK time at approx 12pm. As soon as I got in my airplane seat, I adjusted my watch to the destination time which was 8 hrs behind. Therefore 4am USA time. ( In my opinion changing your watch when you land is sheer panic to the body but by changing as soon as you board allows yourself time to adjust in a gradual manner). As it was 4 am USA time I tried to get some sleep. When I awoke I then worked out what time I would be on the Chinese Clock. Here is a format to help understand all the above:
|Uk Time||USA Time||Chinese Clock Time||Represented Organ|
|12pm||4am||3 to 5 am||Lung|
|2.30pm||6.30am||5 to 7 am||Large Intestine|
|3pm||7am||7 to 9am||Stomach|
|5pm||9am||9 to 11am||Spleen|
|7pm||11am||11am to 1pm||Heart|
Before I talk about needling. I took a chance and in my hand luggage placed press stud needles. Which are very small but never the less do have a needle on them. I was prepared that security might not allow them but they did on both there and back. (These needles were disposed appropriately after use).
Now you have seen the Chinese Clock and the chart above here is what I did next. Remember I am in USA time and not UK.
- At 6.30am I needled a specific point on the large Intestine channel that would help me re adjust.
- At 7am I needled a specific point on the stomach channel
- At 9am I needled a specific point on the spleen channel
- At 11am I needled a specific point on the heart channel
I left the needles in for 20 mins on both left and right. If I fell asleep pre or post needling I would of carried on straight away with the principal. (Each organ has a 2 hr time frame). The points I used are called Horary points and are located on certain parts of the body according to that particular organ.
So there you go! A great success for both myself and husband.
If find yourself going on a long trip and would like to learn this principle you can book in for a JET LAG package. This package will show you exactly where you need to place the needle (press stud needles supplied) and don’t worry if you are not great with needles. You can massage this instead. Both techniques can be shown to you.
I hope you enjoyed this post.
Fig 1, Can Stock Photos(2018) Jet Lag (photograph). Available at: https://www.canstockphoto.com/ (Accessed 11th October 2018)
Fig 2, Can Stock Photos(2018) Tiredness (photograph). Available at: https://www.canstockphoto.com/ (Accessed 11th October 2018)